Yo what’s good OTDHipHop gvng!
We’re back again with another special feature for this week’s Music Monday segment! Today we got another appearance from L12, a rising artist from Grand Rapids, MI and a longtime friend of mine and artist here on OTDHipHop blog. He just released his newest project entitled ‘Black Sheep, Volume 1’ in early November, which showcases his unique and growing sound as a songwriter, producer, and recording engineer.
Overall, I think L12’s new album is definitely a bop, with a variety of content and vibes. The sound is reminiscent of J. Cole, Ty Dolla $ign, Tory Lanezm and L12’s own midwest influences. My personal favorite tracks are “Lash!” and “M.I.A.” The intro’s and interludes are super lit too, especially “Love Me Long Time,” which takes the listener back to the vibes of street cyphers and lofi style. The project is a mix of trap hip hop, R&B, and lofi underground tunes, which makes for a dynamic journey as a listener and fan. The standout track for me has got to be “Cash Rue” ft. Codyak, drawing elements from Wu Tang’s classic “C.R.E.A.M” with a twist of R&B and trap.
Wassup OTDHipHop fam!
Welcome to another installment of Music Monday, our weekly project review. Today our featured artist goes by the name “Dizzie Daz." He is a rapper and life-long hip hop head, originally from Baltimore, MD, and reppin' the island of Maui. I met him about 5 years ago on Oahu, at one of his shows, and re-connected again back in 2016 when I performed in Lahaina, Maui. Check out our review of his 3 newest music videos, from the album, Popolo Built Swagger (Vol. 1). It was released in 2018, with 3 of the album's videos dropped in 2019.
The album is available on all digital music streaming platforms, as well as Dizzie Daz’s Youtube channel.
First off, “Piss Test” goes hard yo!! I’ve always been a fan of Dizzie Daz’s hardcore style, but his flow is definitely refreshing to have in our local scene. The track itself gives stoner anthem vibes, from a unique but relatable perspective. The video and song go together well, featuring an opening and closing vlog/skit. The beat has a hard cadence-tempo, paying ode’ to Dizzie Daz’s Baltimore roots and sound.
Next up, we got “Headsplitters ft. C.Y.T.” This is a straight up RAP video, keepin’ it G to the core. I dig C.Y.T. on the track, and it’s cool to see his evolution too. I can see this being played hard in folks’ cars and at live shows. Personally, I don’t come from gang culture, but I respect the “go big or go home” energy. Dizzie Daz’s flow reminds me a lot of Tech Nine, and meshes well together while contrasting C.Y.T’s flow.
Lastly, I fucks wit’ “H.A.M!” I like the trap and uptempo beat to match the song. The themes, like most of his songs, focus on the “hustle” mentality and not letting anyone mess with you or your people. Overall, I’m really impressed with Dizzie Daz’s evolution as an artist, especially with the sound and visual quality. I look forward to more that he has in store for us.
Aloha everybody! Things are getting crazy, but please do your best to stay home and be safe during this pandemic time. On a positive note, hopefully we can all utilize this time to refocus, maybe even spend more time with family, and work on projects, especially for us fellow artists, producers, and entrepreneurs. We will pretty much stick to our regular weekly schedule, along with a PODCAST launching next month! Today, we got to review an album called Krew Entertainment, by AjGod and Toriyama. AjGod (producer) and Toriyama (emcee/artist) are members of Kurse Krew, an independent music collective based in Oakland, CA. Krew Entertainment was released last year on all music streaming platforms, along with 2 music videos from the album,
which were released over the past 5 months.
Krew Entertainment gives me hardcore underground vibes, featuring a variety of beats and raps. All beats were produced by AjGod, and the songs/lyrics were written and performed by Toriyama. I think that the overall sound and audio quality could be improved to be honest. Some of the tracks were skippable because I couldn’t really vibe. However, I did find the “Cattin Off” (interlude) skit entertaining. I also really like the track “Water,” along with its dope video. I’m not really sure what the message or purpose behind the Krew Entertainment album is, but I’m glad that the Kurse Krew came together to create it, and to showcase their skills and sound. I’m sure they will continue to improve as they grow.
As I mentioned, Kurse Krew released 2 music videos from the album, “Water” and “Hunger Speech.” The videos are pretty cool and high definition, highlighting different artists on the crew and their local environment, and largely showcases Toriyama’s talent and flow. I dig the hook and melody on “Hunger Speech,” as well as the message of hustling and staying focused. I would say that the 2 videos are also my 2 favorite songs from the album. I also liked the concept for “Uncle Snoop,” as an ode to California’s influence and OG’s in hip hop. Overall, I think there’s a lot of room for improvement for the project as a whole, but with new videos and music already coming out from Kurse Krew, I’ll be on the lookout for more Krew Entertainment. They are currently based in Oakland, CA and definitely embody the “grind” and “DIY” culture of the Bay Area.
For more on Kurse Krew, subscribe to their Youtube channel or follow any of their members on Instagram (@KREW_TORIYAMA).
Aloha OTDHipHop fam,
Thank you always for supporting our artists and platform. As I mentioned previously, February was a packed month for the local hip hop scene in Honolulu, and an especially big month for the Kurbside Worldwide team, led by Astreaux Guillotine. Since about 2016, Astreaux has been steadily making waves in the local nightlife, and spent much of 2019 building his huge squad. Back in January, along with the release of Kurbside Worldwide’s Liquid Smoke album, Astreaux dropped his 4th studio album - Leo Season.
I’ve been excited for this album in particular because I met Astreaux during the process of his earlier albums, and even reviewed a few of them on the old OTDHipHop blog (originally hosted on jehzanexclusive.com). I’ve been a fan and colleague of Astreaux for a few years now, but I really believe that Leo Season is his most comprehensive body of work. I think that his lyrics, storytelling, and overall production are top-notch on this album, and I speculate that it simply has to do with his general growth, development, and confidence as an artist and leader. The album starts off with “Leo Season,” (same name as the album) which includes a voice snippet from his father, and is a great introduction to Astreaux the artist, and the man behind the music. A number of tracks on the album features voicemail-styled snippets from his family and friends, that I believe were sent to him during his time in prison.
The album has 3 main “BOPS” - James Harden, Mentos ft. Jahn Lion, and Slappers ft. Mattthompson910. Of course though, there’s always more where those came from. My favorite track is Mentos because I like the contrast between the smooth vibes on the hook, with Astreaux’s witty punchlines and cocky comedic flow. The production on Mentos with the guitar is also very different to Astreaux's usual hype sound. I also really dig Cedric Clinton’s feature on Astreauxphysics, which is honestly an interesting collaboration because of the different background and styles that the 2 artists come from. Shout out to Prayz as well. Furthermore, the album makes numerous odes to concepts mentioned on his prior projects along with the unique Hawaiian lifestyle.
Overall, I’m very proud of Astreaux on Leo Season. I know he has more up his sleeve, and can’t wait to continue to witness his growth. Leo Season is available on all music streaming platforms, along with Kurbside Worldwide’s Liquid Smoke album. The Liquid Smoke and Leo Season album release party, held this past Saturday, Febuary 29th, at Hawaiian Brian’s was lit! Back-to-back live performances of the variety of songs on both albums, as well as 6’s Iridescence EP.
Aloha OTDHipHop fam! Hope y'all are digging the new website and checking out all of our different content. We are back to our regular schedule:
Over the weekend, we had the chance to listen to “Liquid Smoke,” the first ever album release from Kurbside Worldwide. The album features various Kurbside artists, producers, and some friends (including myself and Lord Jordvn). Overall, I actually enjoyed this project. The beat selection was mostly hype and trap, which fits their vibe. But a few of their songs did switch it up, like “Anniversary” for example, had a more lofi vibe. I think Kurbside as a whole still has a lot to work on when it comes to their different artist development, but they are definitely starting on a strong foot. To be honest, some of the tracks were “skippable” but that could be my own preference. I found some of the beats, lyrical content, and styles repetitive. However, some tracks that I do feel stood out were “Anniversary,” “Clap,” “Baby Boy,” and Concrete Jungles.”
With that said, aside from Astreaux Guillotine (Kurbside’s CEO and most-experienced artist), I believe MattThompson910, ALXB13, Kaira Flo, and Sly Bandz stood out the most when it came to delivery and bars. Mezmer’s lyricism and delivery was dope too but some of his content I found somewhat gimmicky. I could hear Eminem and Logic in his flows, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think he has more work to do in forming his own original sound. Shouts out to Mezmer for engineering most of the album too! Some of the tracks were also engineered by BobbyMyEngineer. Lastly, I would love to add my song “Trippy” as a personal favorite but that’s just bias because it’s my track. Lol. I would even call “Meet Me Here” my favorite track, but that could be largely because of Astreaux’s shout out. Haha! Again, I believe MattThompson910 probably showed the most strength and versatility as an emcee on this album.
A major critique I have for “Liquid Smoke” is that with it being Kurbside’s first official project, I wanted to hear more about Kurbside’s story, whether collectively or from the individual artists. Some questions I had as a fan are: Who/What is Kurbside? What are their goals? What do they stand for? Personally, I’m a fan of Kurbside. But if I wasn’t, and I listened to the album, I’m not sure if I would become an instant fan. Regardless, there are some bangers and flows that stood out. I feel like Astreaux essentially carried the team on this project, which is understandable being that he is the main leader. On the next project though, I’d like to hear more from the other artists. Still, I’m excited for more tracks and projects from Kurbside and their individual artists. In fact, Yung 6’s first EP “Iridescence” is actually out today as well! I’m stoked for “Liquid Smoke” two, and I look forward to witnessing the growth of Kurbside Worldwide both collectively and individually.
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ABOUT THE HOST
Jehzan Exclusive is a hip hop artist, educator, and entrepreneur from Honolulu, HI. She founded OTDHipHop in 2015. For more, visit her website or social media.